The U14s made a very promising start to the new season with an emphatic 67-0 win over a robust Hastings side. Lewes' three new players made an immediate impact with Henry Anstee-Moore and Brad Anderson making incisive runs from the start and Harry Paddick a powerful presence in the scrum. But this was a real team effort with the whole squad contributing to some fantastic running rugby and some hard graft at the breakdown. The support play was particularly impressive and there was some ferocious tackling from an exuberant back row. Although Hastings made a spirited comeback at the beginning of the second half, camping out in the home 22 and playing to their strengths with a narrow pick and go game, some resilient defence from Lewes prevented them crossing the the try line. Lewes looked dangerous every time the ball went wide and as a result ran in an impressive 11 tries. There is lots to work on of course, but this was a very encouraging first outing.
Tries: Bradleigh Anderson (2), Henry Anstee-Moore (2), Geordie Gwynn (2), Finley Toghill (2), Ollie Andrews, Jude Littlewood, John Weir. Conversions: Myles Govus, Geordie Gwynn.
The first U15s game of the season was also the first League match and this was always going to be a tough challenge. Both teams had realised that the top two teams in Sussex facing each other so early in what is a short league structure this year was going to be a key game. Horsham were also clearly keen to make amends having been beaten to the top spot by Lewes last year.
Horsham were bolstered by some new talented arrivals from other clubs and feature at least six players in the Quins Development squad. They are a very well drilled and organised side and Lewes were under pressure from the start with Horsham running players either side of the breakdown for multiple phases eventually leading to a score out wide with Lewes simply running out of numbers in defence and ceding the first try.
Despite the early pressure there were signs of Lewes' excellent form of last season and ability with Ollie Simonetti finishing off a strong attacking phase in the corner for a try. At 5-5 the next 10-15 minutes were a good contest with Lewes managing some good recycling and continuity in attack. However a few too many mistakes at key points were made: a forward pass here, a knock-on there meaning they were unable to capitalise. Horsham, on the other hand, scored again after a very well-structured attack leading to an overlap out wide and another try in the corner to brin the score to 10-5.
The second half was a frustrating affair for Lewes as promising attacks turned into Horsham counter-attacks either because of a turnover at the breakdown or kicks going to their wingers/full back rather than touch. Also a few lapses in concentration led to a few soft scores.
Lewes Head Coach Ben Green summarised his team's performance "The positives were some tenacious defence on our own try line denying Horsham at least three tries, some great tackling, an encouraging debut from Sid on the wing in his first game for Lewes, good rucking and clear-out in attack and our line out functioned well. The pre called line-out catch and drive leading to well executed attacking phase and Ollie once again finishing off in the corner.
The negatives were a lack of rucking in defence, we tackled but then let them ruck over with impunity, shipping the ball out wide too early rather than running up then passing down the line, forwards running in the back line, defensive organisation, kicks not going to touch and occasional lapses of concentration."
The U16s comfortably won their home game against Crawley 41-17. The Colts' game was cancelled by Edenbridge who are one of a number of clubs struggling to field a side at this age group.
Updated 12:05 - 20 Sep 2017 by Peter Barron